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Collegium meeting on KM Joseph, other judges remains inconclusive

Collegium meeting on KM Joseph, other judges remains inconclusive

This is the third time that the collegium has deferred its decision on Justice Joseph's elevation since the Centre rejected its recommendation last month noting that it would "not be fair and justified to other more senior, suitable and deserving Chief justices and senior Puisne Judges of various High Courts".

The collegium meeting was scheduled to discuss in detail the High Court probables for the Supreme Court.

Sources told The Telegraph that the five-member collegium of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices J. Chelameshwar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurien Joseph met for over two hours on Wednesday evening.

The government had objected to his appointment, saying he was too junior to become a Supreme Court judge.

Which means that even the recommendation of Justice Joseph's name gets delayed in the process.

The collegium during its last meeting on 11 May had taken an in-principle decision to reiterate its recommendation for the elevation of Justice Joseph to the apex court.

Union Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad had rejected this allegation and had explained that the Centre was opposing Justice Joseph's elevation because Kerala HC, to which he originally belongs, is already well represented in the apex court and that there were other judges who deserved promotion first due to their seniority.

Official sources said those high court judges who are in the race to be elevated to the apex court are Chief Justice of Madras High Court Indira Banerjee, who is originally from the Calcutta HC; Gujarat HC Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy, whose parent cadre is Telangana and Andhra Pradesh HC, and Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, who is originally from Rajasthan HC.

However, the general perception is that Justice Joseph had earned the displeasure of the Central government after a bench headed by him had ruled against the imposition of President's rule in Uttarakhand. The Centre had sent back Justice Joseph's name for reconsideration.

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